Thursday, August 20, 2009


North Korea Watch: How Many Enemies?

Doug Bandow of the Cato Institute asks why the US Military pursues such a massive military budget when it's greatest "threats" are Iran and North Korea:

Whatever could justify such outlays?

It certainly isn't the power of America's enemies. The American people rightly rank North Korea and Iran as adversaries of the U.S. But neither state poses even a minor threat to America.

The so-called Democratic People's Republic of Korea is an economic wreck; a half million or more people starved to death a decade ago. The regime is largely friendless and faces a destabilizing leadership transition. Pyongyang's large military is antiquated; though the North is developing both missile and nuclear technologies, it has no present ability to attack the U.S. and, in any case, would be wiped out by any retaliatory strike.

Moreover, the DPRK is constrained by its neighbors. South Korea enjoys 40 times the economic strength, twice the population, and a vast technological advantage. By some measures, the South's military budget is as large as North Korea's entire GDP. With its more modern, efficient military, Seoul alone could defeat the North.

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